"The Dogs of War
" is a song by Pink Floyd
from their 1987
album, A Momentary Lapse of Reason
. It was the third US single from the album. Live versions have an extended intro, an extended middle solo for the saxophone, a guitar and sax duel and a longer outro as compared to the album version. The track was a minor rock radio hit in the US and reached #16 on MTV's Video Countdown in May 1988.
"The Dogs of War" describes politicians orchestrating wars, suggesting the major influence behind war is money.
Musically, the song follows a twelve-bar blues
structure in C minor, only with significantly different chord changes
. A standard blues song in C minor would progress as C minor, F minor, C minor, G (Major or minor), F minor, and back to C minor. "The Dogs of War", instead, progresses in this way: C minor, E flat minor, C minor, A flat seventh, F minor, and back to C minor. All minor chords
include the seventh
Singer David Gilmour often approaches the C minor chord by singing on the diminished fifth
, G flat, before descending to the fourth
, minor third
, and root
. This melody is also compatible with the next chord, E flat minor, in which G flat is the minor third. It also appears in the A flat seventh chord, as the dominant seventh.
The majority of the song is in a slow 12/8
time. After a bluesy guitar
solo, the song switches to a fast 4/4
tempo for the saxophone
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